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Posts for: January, 2019

J-LosUnluckyBreakChippingaToothonStage

Whether she’s singing, dancing or acting, Jennifer Lopez is a performer who is known for giving it all she’s got. But during one show, Lopez recently admitted, she gave a bit more then she had planned.

“I chipped my tooth on stage,” she told interviewers from Entertainment Tonight, “and had to finish the show….I went back thinking ‘Can I finish the show like this?’”

With that unlucky break, J-Lo joins a growing list of superstar singers—including Taylor Swift and Michael Buble—who have something in common: All have chipped their teeth on microphones while giving a performance.

But it’s not just celebs who have accidental dental trouble. Chips are among the most common dental injuries—and the front teeth, due to their position, are particularly susceptible. Unfortunately, they are also the most visible. But there are also a number of good ways to repair chipped, cracked or broken teeth short of replacing them.

For minor to moderate chips, cosmetic bonding might be recommended. In this method, special high-tech resins, in shades that match your natural teeth, are applied to the tooth’s surface. Layers of resin, cured with a special light, will often restore the tooth to good appearance. Best of all, the whole process can often be done in just one visit to the dental office, and the results can last for several years.

For a more permanent repair—or if the damage is more extensive—dental veneers may be another option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that cover the entire front surface of one or more teeth. Strong, durable and natural-looking, they can be used to repair moderate chips, cracks or irregularities. They can also help you get a “red-carpet” smile: brilliant white teeth with perfectly even spacing. That’s why veneers are so popular among Hollywood celebs—even those who haven’t chipped their teeth!

Fortunately, even if the tooth is extensively damaged, it’s usually possible to restore it with a crown (cap), a bridge—or a dental implant, today’s gold standard for whole-tooth replacement. But in many cases, a less complex type of restoration will do the trick.

Which tooth restoration method did J-Lo choose? She didn’t say—but luckily for her adoring fans, after the microphone mishap she went right back up on stage and finished the show.

If you have a chipped tooth but you need to make the show go on, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”


Orthodontic treatment offers many benefits, from straightening your smile to properly aligning your bite. Several different types of orthodontic treatments are available and a dentist can help determine which treatment is right for you. At Lake View Dental Associates, Dr. Scott Emalfarb is your dentist for orthodontics in the Lakeview, Chicago area.

Types of Orthodontic Treatment

One of the most common orthodontic treatments is braces. Braces can be used to straighten crooked teeth, close gaps between teeth, realign an asymmetrical jaw, and correct overbites, underbites, and crossbites. There are three main types of braces: metal, ceramic, and lingual. All three types of braces utilized brackets and wires to move the teeth and realign the bite. The brackets are placed on the front of the teeth with metal and ceramic braces. Lingual braces are more discreet as the brackets are placed on the backs of the teeth.

Another popular type of orthodontic treatment is Invisalign. Invisalign can also be used to straighten crooked teeth and close small gaps. However, braces are best for correcting bite and alignment problems. Invisalign utilizes aligner trays that fit over the top and bottom rows of teeth and gently move the teeth into the desired position over time. The trays are removable, which makes brushing and flossing easier than with braces. Your dentist for orthodontics in Lakeview can tell you if Invisalign would work for you or if braces are best.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

There are many benefits to undergoing orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics can address a wide range of aesthetic and orthodontic concerns. Problems with spacing, tooth positioning, and alignment of the teeth or jaw can all be corrected through orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics can help you achieve the smile you desire, as well as improve tooth and jaw functioning and alignment. When the bite is not aligned properly, tension and discomfort in the jaw area can result. Headaches are not uncommon either. Correcting alignment can alleviate these problems.

Orthodontics can even make it easier to maintain good oral hygiene. Teeth that are crooked or overlapping provide places for bacteria to hide easier and make it more difficult to thoroughly brush and floss in those areas. By correcting problems with spacing, crowding, and alignment, there are fewer places for bacteria to become trapped and hide. Additionally, brushing and flossing can be more effective.

Your dentist can help determine which orthodontic treatment is right for you based on your specific orthodontic needs. For orthodontics in Lakeview, IL, schedule an appointment with Dr. Emalfarb by calling Lake View Dental Associates at (773) 472-6322.


Less-InvasivePulpCappingCouldSaveYourTooth

There’s one sure thing about tooth decay: you can’t ignore it. In fact, the best outcomes result from finding it early and treating it before it enters the pulp in the center of the tooth, often a filling or similar treatment.

If it does advance to the pulp, you may need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. This is a moderately invasive procedure where we access the pulp and root canals, tiny passageways leading to the root and supporting bone. We then remove all the diseased tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling. Later we’ll crown the tooth for added protection against future infection or fracture of the tooth.

But there’s also another less-invasive method than a root canal called pulp capping. It’s only appropriate to use, however, if the pulp has become exposed or almost exposed by decay, but hasn’t yet shown signs of disease.

Pulp capping can be either direct or indirect. We use direct pulp capping if the healthy pulp has been exposed by the disease process. We first isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth to prevent contamination and then proceed to remove all of the tooth’s decayed dentin structure. We then apply a biocompatible material directly over the pulp to protect it from further decay and to facilitate healing. We then restore the tooth, usually with a filling, to its proper function and life-like appearance.

When the pulp is threatened by decay but not yet exposed, we may then use the indirect method. In this approach we first remove most of the decayed dentin, but leave a small amount next to the pulp to keep it covered. We then treat this remaining dentin with a material to help it heal and re-mineralize, followed by a temporary filling of the tooth. A few months later we’ll remove this filling and inspect the treated dentin. If it has regenerated sufficiently, we remove any remaining decay and permanently restore the tooth.

As we said, pulp capping is only used with patients with deep decay whose pulp tissue is healthy. But when we can use it we can avoid some of the permanent alterations that often come with a root canal treatment and still save the tooth.

If you would like more information on treatments for tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pulp Capping: A Procedure that May Save a Decayed Tooth.”